While a divorce may formally end a marriage, it doesn't absolve an individual's liability when it comes to joint debts such as a mortgage. The only way for people to untangle themselves from a mortgage is to remove themselves from the loan. This can only happen if the loan is refinanced or the house is sold and the mortgage paid in full.
There are a couple of options when it comes to resolving a mortgage quandary. First, it may be possible to sell the house and split any equity evenly or according to a prenuptial or any other sort of valid agreement. It may also be possible to refinance the loan in the name of one spouse or the other. To become the sole name on a mortgage loan, that individual must qualify for the loan on his or her own.
Furthermore, it will be necessary to ask the other spouse to sign a quitclaim deed. This transfers ownership of the house to the person who is now paying the mortgage. Signing the deed only transfers ownership, however, and it doesn't take anyone off the mortgage unless the loan has already been refinanced.
Dividing marital property may be an emotional and contentious part of a divorce settlement. An attorney may be helpful in reviewing a prenuptial agreement or any other agreements to determine if they are valid as it relates to establishing what may be marital property as opposed to property owned before the marriage. Attorneys may also be able to help find hidden assets or assets not fully disclosed during the discovery process.